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Consider formation flight

by | Jun 21, 2022 | Aerospace Engineering | 0 comments

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Consider formation flight. Assume the airplanes fly side by side with their
wake vortices separated by distance b/2, as shown below. Here, b is the span of the
wing. For (i) 2 airplanes (I did this in class), (ii) 3 airplanes, (iii) 5 airplanes. Determine
the percentage reduction in induced drag for each of the airplanes flying in formation
compared to the induced drag for an airplane flying by itself. For case (ii) and (iii) do
the airplanes flying on the inside of the formation have more or less induced drag than
the airplanes flying on the outside edge of the formation? Determine the average of
the percentage reduction in induced drag and tabulate this as a function of the number
of airplanes in the formation.(In working this problem assume the lift for each plane
stays the same, since the weight does not change. Hint: Evaluate the downwash at the
wing root of each plane).

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